This project started as a thread in the Homebrew section of Giant in the Playground about five years ago. The thread died out after about four months, but the idea’s been in the back of my mind because it’s fantastic and inspired and otherwise flackworthy. The idea is, the PCs are children between the age of 3 and 9, playing pretend. But because of the way kids work, what they’re imagining is real for them. So the kids’ imaginary world becomes analogous to an Astral Plane, an Ethereal Plane, or a Plane of Shadow, an Imaginal Plane where the imaginary hero-selves of the kids exist. I will make a post on the Imaginal Plane later, but for now, imagine it as a place very much like the real world, where everything is a fantastic version of the real thing–a stuffed tiger becomes Hobbes, a gazebo becomes a mighty tower, a housecat becomes a huge lion or a manticore, the green-carpeted living room becomes wide-open grasslands, and so on.
For now what I’m doing is transcribing my notes from my three terrible, awful, no-good, very bad days-with-borkened-HDD–my ideas for how to make the system more supportive of child PCs and on what classes should exist. You will now receive an unwanted and unwarranted glimpse of my thought processes. ^_^
How to Stat a 3.5 Child
Evan, 5-Year-Old Adorable Kid of WHY DID THE FLOOR GO DOWN fame
Small Humanoid (Human)
Hit Dice: 1/2d8 (2 hp)
Speed: 20 feet (4 squares)
Armor Class: 13 (+2 dex, +1 size, 11 flat-footed, 13 touch)
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/+6
Attack: Punch -1 melee (1d3-2 bludgeoning)
Full Attack: Punch -1 melee (1d3-2 bludgeoning)
Space/Reach: 5 ft/5 ft
Special Attacks: –
Special Qualities: –
Saves: Fort +0 Ref +4 Will -2
Abilities: Str 6 Dex 14 Con 10 Int 10 Wis 6 Cha 14
Skills: Bluff +4, Climb +0, Jump +0, Swim +0
Problems with 3.5 Children Stats, As Occur To Me at 2am
Children have low STR, but also a high strength-to-mass ratio, making them good at things like climbing and acrobatics. A STR penalty does not reflect this accurately.
Children are far less coordinated than adults but also smaller and quicker. A DEX penalty does not reflect this accurately.
Children are tenacious and stubborn (oh my god so stubborn) but also immature, which makes WIS is also inaccurate.
Children are adorable as hell but are immature and don’t know how to interact well, which makes CHA inaccurate as well.
Children can be very perceptive and intelligent while not having the same acquired reasoning skills as an adult, which seems to nerf INT as well.
Proposition for CUTE System
Abilities–physical and mental capabilities of PC, rescaled for kids, directly analogous
Skills–things the PC has learned to do well, directly analogous
Feats–unusual things the PC has learned to do well, directly analogous
Traits–things the PC is innately good at, directly analogous
Talents–unusual things the PC is innately good at, no direct analog
Flaws–things the PC is innately bad at, directly analogous
Ability/Ability Names Brainstorm
Strength Endurance Tenacity Resilience Agility Charisma Constitution Cuteness Perception Understanding Intelligence Knowledge Coordination Stamina Reasoning Intuition Persuasiveness Luck Confidence Insight Likability Imagination Willpower Belief Creativity Favor Quickness Smarts Hardiness Gumption
Would like a snappy acronym a la SPECIAL… IMAGINE CREATION CUTNESS CUTEST CHILDREN etc.
(Strength Agility Quickness Endurance Tenacity|Understanding Creativity Willpower Insight Likability)
(Creativity Hardiness Insight Likability Dexterity Quickness Understanding Endurance Strength Tenacity?)
(Creativity Hardiness Insight Likability Dexterity Strength Perception L… Agility Y…)
(Strength Hardiness Endurance Agility Quickness Creativity Understanding Insight Tenacity Likability)
Skills/Skill Names Brainstorm
Balance Bluff Climb Craft Diplomacy Tinker Escape Artist Stealth Intimidate Jump Perception Bargain Sense Motive Swim Acrobatics Imagine Perform Survival Read/Write Sleight of Hand First Aid Favor Handle Animal
The specialty of the child.
Mama’s Boy/Daddy’s Girl Bully Dreamer Karate Kid Rascal Boy/Girl Scout Goodie-Two-Shoes Scaredy-Cat Li’l Slugger Know-It-All Whiner Diva Prodigy
CUTE Prestige Classes Brainstorm
Tantrum Thrower MIT Legacy Storyteller Runner Animal Friend Fourth Wall Nightmare Knight in Shining Armor Puddlejumper Wild Child
CUTE Feats/Traits/Talents/Flaws Brainstorm
Four-Eyes Animal Friend Spoiled Rotten Runner Favorite Scrawny Prodigy Super-Cute Fearless Scaredy-Cat Chunky Awkward Agile Athletic Shy Creative Talented Practiced Crafty Dodge Mobility Spring Attack Fast-Talker Negotiator Self-Sufficient Alert
Final Skill List
Acrobatics (AGL) Bargain (LIK) Bluff (CRE) Climb (STR) Concentration (TEN) Craft… (UND) (weapon, armor, legos, concoction, etc… needswork) Diplomacy (LIK) Escape Artist (AGL) First Aid (INS) Handle Animal (LIK) Imagine (CRE) Intimidate (INS) Knowledge (UND) (constructino, exploration, geography, imaginal, local, nature, parental/family) Perception (INS) Perform (LIK) Read/Write (UND) Sense Motive (INS) Stealth (AGL) Survival (TEN) Swim (STR) Tinker (CRE)
Now, what the hell does all of this mean?
That’s a really good question. Next time.